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2017 Corn Disease Survey

Over 100 corn fields were scouted in the past month to document the prevalence of foliar diseases in corn.

2017 Corn Disease Survey

Over 100 corn fields were scouted in the past month to document the prevalence of foliar diseases in corn. This effort has been conducted since 2014 with support from the North Dakota Corn Utilization Council and the North Dakota Department of Agriculture. This year the three most common diseases identified were common corn rust (93% of the fields), common corn smut (44%), and Goss’ leaf blight (35%). Compared to the 2016 growing season, Goss’ leaf blight (Goss’) was found in more fields and higher incidence levels were noticed in fields with hail damage.

Of the three diseases detected, Goss’ (Figures 1 and 2) deserves the most attention for potential economic yield losses. If you found Goss’ this year, do not panic, but it is important to be aware of the disease to avoid management failures. The best way to manage Goss’ is using resistant hybrids, crop rotation (ie: soybean, sunflower) and residue management (when appropriate). Most hybrid companies will have a rating system for Goss’ in hybrid selection guides and it is important to avoid susceptible hybrids, especially in areas with higher incidence levels of Goss’. Both corn and sorghum are hosts for the Goss’ pathogen as well as grassy weed species, including volunteer corn, large crabgrass, yellow foxtail, green foxtail, giant foxtail, shattercane and annual ryegrass. Rotating away from corn and managing other hosts of the pathogen will help reduce Goss’ risk. The pathogen can overwinter on corn residue on the soil surface for up to 10 months, but leaf residue incorporated into the soil has a shorter shelf life. Finally, since Goss’ is caused by a bacterium, do not use fungicides to manage this disease.

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Andrew Friskop

Extension Plant Pathology, Cereal Crops

 

Elizabeth Bauske

NDSU Plant Pathology, Research Specialist


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